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31 Center Street
Folly Beach, SC 29439
843.588.3800

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11 Fulton Street
Charleston, SC 29401
843.722.5618

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1887 Andell Bluff Boulevard
Johns Island, SC 29455
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835 Coleman Blvd Ste. 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
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Category: Tips for Sellers

The One Thing You Should Not Do to Prepare your Home for Sale

real estate homeowner suggestions

What is the one thing you should not do to prepare your home for sale? You should not take any action until you speak with an experienced listing agent. I know, you are probably thinking about painting and repairs and general “sprucing up” now that the holiday decorations are all packed away. You may be daunted by the amount of money you think you need to invest and the “honey-do” list that’s a mile long. STOP. Let a professional guide you on how to spend your time, energy, and treasure wisely – here are some examples from real homeowners who thought they needed to do “more.” I saved them tons of money and sweat equity by prioritizing the things that buyers really want.

Seller 1

She thought she should replace the carpet in her one bedroom condo. It was in poor condition due to the paws of two adorable grey kitties. By offering a flooring allowance instead, she did not have to endure the inconvenience and time of purchasing carpet. What if the color was not pleasing to the buyer? What if they preferred laminate to new carpet? She did not have to drain her savings and could take the expense of the allowance off the proceeds of the sale instead.

Seller 2

These nice people wanted to do so much to help, but they were focused on the wrong priorities. Instead of painting the garage walls in their elevated home, we spent money trimming the overgrown but beautiful live oak in front of the house. You can’t put a price on those beauties plus, it opened up the front for better photos. The husband also wanted to paint the garage floor with high-gloss, epoxy paint. I knew that would not make a difference to most buyers but power-washing the exterior would make a huge impression. We sold to the first people through the door for 95% of asking price.

realtor terry bell aby

Seller 3

I sold a home in Hanahan that was on the market for less than a week after not selling with another agent earlier in the year. We did not rip out the kitchen or have the entire interior repainted. We used a much more effective and more importantly cost – effective technique – staging. My clients were talking about all the things they thought they needed to do before putting it back on the market and I told them not to spend a dime until my staging expert and I could see the home in person.

We made a list of the furniture to be taken out to show just how spacious the home actually was. We also itemized the décor items that needed to be packed up before the photographer arrived. We gave them their assignments throughout the inside and outside of the house and then set to work ourselves.

realtor terry bell aby dunes properties of charleston

We literally shopped their house. The large vases in the kitchen replaced the visual clutter in the dining room hutch with their simple lines and pops of color. Perhaps the most difficult task was the living room. My clients had recently purchased two large sofas and a large chair that filled the space. They were super comfy but the placement was not ideal. We moved them and some other pieces around the room to better advantage. As for spending, we purchased a new comforter (she needed for the new home anyway) and a $5 pitcher and cup set to stage the photos. Total spent, $80 – sold for full price in 7 days.

Call me to receive a free Custom Market analysis and to help prioritize what Lowcountry buyers want and not what HGTV sellers think all buyers want.

Is Fall/Winter a Good Time to List My Home?

listing your home in fall and winter

Conventional wisdom will hold that winter and fall are not good times to list your home for sale. Conventional wisdom is wrong and here’s why…………

Lower Inventory

• Low Inventory can work for sellers in a number of ways. The people looking in fall and winter are motivated, and with fewer options to consider, they generally pull the trigger more quickly. You can also avoid the “tire kickers” that are looking for an excuse to get out and about to enjoy a beautiful day – only serious buyers are out at this time of year.
• Deutsche Bank Research also shows that the median age of homebuyers is 47, so the school year dictates are less relevant than ever.
• When there is not a surplus of available homes, there is greater incentive to encourage a multiple offer situation. Remember the law of supply and demand drives prices higher.
• With the improving weather, your competition will also include more new construction starts in the spring

Interest Rates

• I’m seeing rates as low as 2.37% right now. This is a tremendous opportunity for home buyers to save hundreds of dollars a month over just last year’s rate. As a seller, if you are also about to move up to the house of your dreams, it is unlikely it will ever be cheaper.

Year End Bonuses

• End of the year windfalls incentivize buyers – in particular, in the second home market. Having extra cash in a lump sum can make the initial deposit easier to manage.

Relocation

• Many companies make relocation moves at the first of the year. These folks often have moving credits from the company to facilitate the move. With the influx of large corporations to the Charleston market, we anticipate this market will continue to grow.

Smoother Sailing

• Contracts close sooner in the winter months because mortgage lenders are less burdened and it is easier to schedule inspectors, appraisals, etc. when the workload is lighter. This makes for shorter schedules all around and less time for issues to arise.

Blessings in Disguise

• Fewer people traipsing through your home means maximizing showings for true buyers. It also means fewer people tracking dirt inside.
• Landscaping demands are easier to manage and maintain than in the spring – especially in the Lowcountry where we have something blooming or green nearly all the time.
• You shouldn’t have to let the calendar dictate moving on with your life plans, it might be just the right time for you – call me to find out the right pricing and marketing plan for your needs

Negotiation Thoughts

negotiating in real esate

Negotiating a real estate deal can be fraught with issues in large part because everyone’s risk tolerance is different. Buyers and sellers often believe it is a win/lose proposition. Automatically assuming the other party is an adversary does not create the proper framework for compromise and deal making. And, even after the initial deal has been made, when something else goes south along the way, being adversaries will make those additional negotiations more difficult to work out. As a Certified Negotiation Expert* (CNE®) I have learned specific techniques to ensure that transactions become win/win opportunities. I find that thinking carefully about wants, needs, and desires can change how a negotiation comes together where risk and rewards are shared by all parties.

These are some of the questions I ask myself as I embark on a negotiation.

Self-Interest

Why is it in their self-interest to do what I want them to do? What are their self-interests? Regardless of whether I am representing the buyer or the seller, seeing the situation from the other side’s point of view is important. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to obtain additional information on motivations I may not have considered.

Uniqueness

How is my client’s offer unique? An offer is so much more than the dollar amount. Contracts have lots of variables that can sway the equation. I always ask “what in addition to the right price will influence your decision to accept the agreement?” Often, the closing date is very important to either side. Buying or selling a home can be stressful enough without additional complications for moving day.

moving day

Contrast

How does my response compare so my offer looks best? For example, one thing I always look for is if the lender is local. It may seem like a small thing, however I have had numerous complications with lenders who don’t know and understand the particulars of the Lowcountry market. In North Carolina, the appraisal is done prior to the home inspection, while here, it is typically the opposite. One lender from another state told my seller she did not need to have a termite inspection because it was not a VA loan. I have dealt with multiple time zone issues and finally closed a 4pm closing at 8pm that evening. The loan officer was based in Utah but the funding was coming from Texas.

Exchange

What can we trade or exchange of equal value? When parties are close, sometimes throwing in appliances that originally would not have conveyed or some patio furniture can do the trick. First-time homebuyers may be using most of their savings for the down payment. By making a full-price offer and asking for a contribution toward closing costs instead, sellers can net a comparable amount while raising the mortgage for the buyers by comparatively little.

Sound Logic

signing contract

What evidence or logic makes sense for them to agree with me? I prefer to make my own arguments and leave no doubt about my client’s intentions. Negotiation partners may still make assumptions on their own to be sure, but agents also sometimes negotiate harder with their clients than they do with the other party. I give them my ammunition to make my case for me.

*Fewer than 1% of real estate agents hold this designation across the country.

Quick Tips to Get Your Home Sold – Without Renovating!

More people are watching home improvement television these days, and because of that they often think they need to do a wholesale remodel in order to sell their homes. That thought can be immobilizing and cause homeowners to hesitate listing their home for sale because the tasks seem overwhelming so they do nothing.

tips to sell your home without renovating

Selling your home can be an emotional experience as well, so concentrate on what you can do to keep your eyes on the prize. Here are some low or no-cost things homeowners can do to help sell their home quickly and for top dollar.

Clean off your porch and approach to the home. If items have accumulated there that are not inviting, relocate them. Make it look like a great place to have a cold beverage or cup of coffee. Sweep off any dirt and especially clear out plants that are past their prime.

inviting entrance to help sell your home quickly

Make sure all your light bulbs are working, and that they match in each fixture if not throughout the home. You can ruin a great photo of your foyer if you have two incandescent bulbs and six CFL bulbs in the chandelier and they all cast off a different shade of light. Also, consider using “curly” CFL bulbs only in shaded fixtures where the bulb is not exposed and use other energy efficient bulbs that are smooth in those that are exposed.
Turn on all lights in the home including the ones you don’t regularly use for every showing. Think about the extra lights in the foyer that may only serve a decorative function on most days. Don’t forget the bedside lamps in bedrooms you do not frequent. In the bathrooms, make sure you turn on the overhead lights, the sconces and the one you never use above the shower.

Leave only three items on your counters and stash everything else. It can seem like a tremendous sacrifice and when I ask sellers to consider it, they often have a minor freak out. Your slight inconvenience in having to move appliances to a bedroom closet a couple of times a week is worth it if it gets people to see your great counter space. It makes a much better photo, and you don’t have to live like that forever, just until that contract comes in and the showings end. You might be surprised how little you notice the difference!

I often recommend having a plastic laundry basket ready at hand for last minute showings. Grab it and stash daily clutter and pet toys on a quick walk through – the handles make it easy to stick it in the back seat as you leave so you don’t have to find a home for each item immediately. Take every showing you can possibly take and only decline if it is absolutely necessary. It may be inconvenient, but remember buyers are likely seeing several homes on any given day and they are your competition. And don’t forget, as soon as you get that contract ratified you can stop making your bed every day!

How to Sell Your Home During the Pandemic

The Listing Appointment

Currently, I am meeting clients outside while the weather is fine – fortunately that is most of the year here in Charleston. Delivering my marketing presentation is typically around the kitchen table with clients in close proximity as I review the unique marketing plan for selling their home quickly and for top dollar. Now I awkwardly hold the information up like show and tell, fumbling with ill-fitting gloves, while papers blow across the yard as I explain the benefits of professional architectural photography. We have a good laugh and keep going. I have always had contracts on hand so we can sign as I explain each paragraph to them. Because we can sign documents electronically, I am forgoing explaining in person to limit exposure, and then go back and email the docs explaining them on the phone.

selling home during pandemic

One of the documents we need to sign is a form that dunes properties has implemented to protect our clients and others. The form specifies what protocols the homeowner requires such as masks, gloves, sanitizer, and booties. It gives clients an opportunity to assess their risk tolerance and it helps facilitate the conversation. It also gives them peace of mind and in one case, gave their tenants confidence to have people in their space. These instructions are posted for each listing so that buyer’s agents are informed prior to scheduling the showing. I then assure my homeowners I will be present for all showings in order to enforce the policy. I have had to turn people away who failed to comply, but it was the right thing to do.

Prepping Your Home For Sale

Once the docs are signed, I work on the staging necessary to get top notch photos. I have a talented person that often helps me with staging, however while in the past I used her on nearly every project, I am limiting the contacts involved and doing much of that work myself. Staging remains crucial to the listing process and I will take on the additional tasks. We all know “click bait” is how we now sell homes. If that first photo doesn’t pop, buyers will move on in less than a second. My regular photographer also has his set of protocols as well. All lights are to be on when he arrives, all doors are to be ajar, and masks are required. Clients wait with me outside while he works his magic.

 top notch real estate photography to sell homes quicker

Showing The Property

I have recommended to my clients that they limit each appointment to no more than three people at a time. Since I am present for all of the showings now, I want to protect my clients and myself. I had one extremely popular listing with more showings than I could schedule. Ordinarily I would allow for overlapping showings to accommodate everyone, but by limiting to three people at a time, we simply had to turn some folks away. I promise, I have never done that before! For long conversations I always suggest we move outside. And, in every situation I am encouraging appropriate social distancing. Buyers and agents are taking their own precautions as well. In early March, when I was showing property and before safety protocols were the new normal, I was insisting on hand sanitizer reminding my buyers how many door handles they had just touched. While there has been a trend for years now of taking separate cars, I have not seen anyone roll up to a showing and hop out of the agent’s vehicle.

The Good News

Sales are up! Sellers are benefiting from a very low inventory, and people are laughing with me as we figure this out together and make people’s dreams come true.

successfully selling homes during a pandemic

I Know Your Neighborhood

I received a phone call recently from a woman who mistakenly thought that I had listed the property in her neighborhood that had just sold. She said she was planning to list her home for sale to which I said “Great, I can help you with that.” She did not want to talk to me because she thought she should list it with someone who “knew her neighborhood.” Before I could explain why that kind of thinking was counter intuitive she had hung up. I wanted to get that message out to others who might also be thinking that way about how to make the decision about who should represent their interests.

recently sold by Terry Bell-Aby

In the last two years, I have listed and sold six properties in neighborhoods in which I had not previously sold a home. All five were on the market for less than a week, and four of those sold for at least 97% of asking price, the other at 95%. One property was sold before it ever hit the MLS. Here’s how I did it.

Comparative Market Analysis

I do my homework. I don’t guess. I derive hard statistics about days on the market for specific types of homes in specific areas. It’s important to know what properties have sold and the price per square foot on average but, I also know going in to meet with prospective clients how many months of inventory for similar properties there are and what that means to sellers when they decide their list price. I make sure they also know how many new listings are likely to come on the market and become their competition. I also represent buyers as well as sellers. Many agents do not. That means I am showing properties in all neighborhoods so even if I haven’t listed and sold a home there, I know the market from both sides.

Marketing

RE Marketing Terry Bell-Aby

It’s ever so much more than taking pictures with your phone and sticking a sign in the front yard. I meet with my marketing department in advance to discuss the strategy for that particular home and together we develop a plan of action. In addition to the photos, signs, and flyers, there is a social media strategy, agent outreach strategy, and we carefully craft the description and curate the photos for maximum click bait. The front of the house may not be the most compelling picture so if you think about the time you spend deciding to click or not, it’s got to grab the most eyeballs and quickly.

Investment

I personally invest in hiring professional architectural photography and conduct professional staging in order to make the photos drive showings immediately. In 2019, everyone starts his or her search for a new home on the internet and the photos and key words are mission critical to generating excitement.

Contracts

An offer is the sum of its parts and I know the contract. The price of course is important but so are the other elements such as closing, earnest money, and the addendum(s). I carefully read the details to see not only if the buyers require financing but also how much. Are they scraping every last dollar together only to have the financing fall through 3 weeks after we go under contract thereby taking the home off the market only to have to reactivate the listing? It’s also important to negotiate the repair requests so as to minimize the sellers’ risk. In nearly every deal, the repair request is the most stressful aspect for sellers and buyers. I have 20 years of experience in construction and real estate and I understand how to manage that risk and can help guide both sides through the process.

RE contracts

Certified Negotiation Expert

Selling a home quickly often involves managing multiple offers. When a property is hot – it’s hot. There are at least six options to successfully negotiate multiple offer situations and simply taking the highest price offer may not result in the greatest net to my sellers. Let me show you how I can do the same for you no matter what neighborhood you call home.

7 Ways You Can Help Your Agent Sell Your Home

1. Turn on all the lights. I once arrived to show my listing to discover that the homeowners were not turning on the hallway lights at the entrance to their condo. It had been on the market a little too long, and some of the feedback said it felt dark. When I began to check the other areas of the condo, I discovered they were turning on most of the overhead lights but not the table lamps. In the bathroom, the vanity lights were on but not the one over the shower. After the showing I explained that every light should be on for future showings and they were happy to comply – it just had not occurred to them.

seller tips lights on in home

2. Accept every showing if at all possible. They are almost always at an inopportune time, but that’s a small speed bump on the way to your new home. Even waiting a day can change the mind of a buyer. Buyers who are looking on Thursday and Friday might abandon Friday altogether if they find something they like on Thursday.

3. Pets can be problematic for a number of reasons. Pet odor can be a major turn-off and honestly, we can all become accustomed to smells so as not to notice them. People without pets often notice more quickly when entering a home. Ask your agent if he or she notices pet odor and it will give them the opportunity to be frank without fear of offending you if you ask first. Make sure litter boxes are spotless and out of the way. Doggie daycare may be an everyday expense you don’t want, but during showings it can make a big difference if you can’t get home to remove the dog. It could make thousands of dollars of difference if the buyers can’t go into a space because the dog is being restrained there.

4. Many of my older clients in the Lowcountry like their window unit air conditioners. They are frugal by nature and often mistakenly believe that window units are cheaper to run by just cooling the bedroom at night and not the entire house. That may have been true at one time, but newer HVAC systems are typically much more efficient to run. When buyers see window units in a home with central air, they immediately assume the that the HVAC is not working properly. You can always put them back after the offer is accepted.

5. I always welcome the nosy neighbors with open arms to my open houses and sellers should as well. Your neighbors might sell your home through word of mouth. They often want their family and friends nearby. In fact, invite them in and ask them if they know anyone who might be looking.

6. I know it’s hard, but keep things tidy. You don’t have to live that way every day, but while the house is on the market the beds must be made, laundry put away, bathrooms kept pristine, and clutter gone. Once the house goes under contract, you can take a vacation from making the bed. A great way to de-clutter quickly and works great for folks with small children is to purchase some extra laundry baskets. A quick tour through the house tossing into the basket as you go is easy, and you can carry it to the car with you when you leave.

seller tips cleaning before showings

7. And speaking of which, it really does help if homeowners aren’t present during showings. Most buyers don’t want to hurt your feelings with their comments and will not give honest feedback in most cases. They don’t feel comfortable looking in closets or opening cabinets and they will not linger taking in everything. I had buyers in a home who would not even go into the room where the sellers were because they felt they were intruding. More importantly, you might say something that seems completely innocuous but could hurt your potential sale. You are more likely to overshare than not. Some sellers believe that they can sell the home features because they know it best. If that’s your thought, write a lengthy addendum to the seller’s disclosure and point out all your special features. There will be some rare exceptions to this rule and a good agent can help you make good choices about how to limit the exposure if it’s absolutely necessary.

seller tips leaving during showings

Call me to discuss the many ways I can help you sell your home – spoiler alert, there are more than 7 ways!

Zestimate®

Zestimate®. It has “estimate” right in its name and yet it can be very problematic for both buyers and sellers alike. Sellers are frustrated when the selling price located right above the Zestimate® appears to be overpriced and hurts their cause. On the other hand, sellers often sit down with me at a listing appointment and have unreasonable expectations for what they can realize in the sale of their home because the Zestimate® is too high. Buyers are disappointed when they realize the home they just fell in love with online, is not going to be purchased for the Zestimate® price. Zillow® has in fact, offered a prize to anyone who can rewrite their program to become more accurate. They have also been sued for conducting appraisals without a license.

There are several reasons this “one size fits all” product is not always accurate. Sure, they have complicated algorithms that look at square footage, bedrooms and zip codes but there are too many other elements that cannot be factored into determining value. My home for example, is on Johns Island in a small neighborhood with 15 homes built in 2005-2006. Zillow® will aggregate my home with the mobile homes nearby and a horse farm down the road to determine the value. Just because these homes are nearby, does not mean they are comparable. Even if you can narrow down to similar homes in a large subdivision, often times there are phases in those subdivisions that can account for differences in quality and materials.

In Charleston, views greatly affect the home’s value. The differences between marshfront, marshview, waterview, riverview, oceanview, and oceanfront are unique and sometimes subtle. Likewise, my Johns Island home faces the other homes that are similar in quality to mine, but five of the homes in our subdivision face across the street from the mobile homes. That type of view can also affect value.

Perhaps the most important reason to use a qualified Realtor® is to assess condition. Zillow® cannot see inside your home to see your upgraded kitchen and beautiful tiled bath. Likewise, it cannot see into your neighbor’s house to see that baseboards are missing, door handles are broken, and windows have not been maintained. A home with lots of dated wallpaper and worn finishes is treated the same as a newer and more updated one. My neighbor’s property has beautiful, big Live Oaks and mine does not. Even a qualified appraiser might have trouble assessing the inherent value of the trees. There are also many things only someone who knows the area and is informed about the community can bring to the table as well. Did that neighborhood experience flooding during the recent hurricane, is there a new school being built nearby, or even what new zoning might be coming from the local municipality. A good real estate agent stays up to date on local news and events. In addition, an experienced agent will know what questions to ask homeowners such as traffic patterns, proximity to local businesses and if high tide ever makes travel problematic.

Condition of the exterior, interior and neighborhood all influence value. As an experienced Realtor®, I can also tell you that Zillow® will not be able to determine if the home you just loved on line smells like cat pee in person!

Call me and I will come to your home to conduct a free Comparative Market Report to find out what your home might be worth.

Preparing Your Home to Sell

Are you thinking of putting your house on the market but are daunted by the long to-do list? You may be suffering from overexposure to HGTV. These are some of the symptoms: Do you secretly think you are a long-lost Property Brother? Do you want to marry Chip and Joanna Gaines? Are you still toying with the idea of knocking down that wall? You may be overexposed to home improvement psychology and don’t know it. Yes, those projects you see on TV do make a difference, but most homes don’t need a wholesale makeover.

I sold a home in Hanahan that was on the market for less than a week after not selling with another agent earlier in the year. We did not rip out the kitchen or have the entire interior repainted. We used a much more effective and more importantly cost – effective technique – staging. My clients were talking about all the things they thought they needed to do before putting it back on the market and I told them not to spend a dime until my staging expert and I could see the home in person.

We started by walking through the home and making a list of things to edit. I am convinced that the home did not sell the first time because there was too much furniture that had accumulated through the years and too much “stuff” in general. We made a list of the furniture to be taken out to show just how spacious the home actually was. We also itemized the decor items that needed to be packed up before the photographer arrived. We gave them their assignments throughout the inside and outside of the house and then set to work ourselves.

We literally shopped their house. The large vases in the kitchen replaced the visual clutter in the dining room hutch with their simple lines and pops of color. All but one of the silk plants were removed and personal collections were packed for moving. Perhaps the most difficult task was the living room. My clients had recently purchased two large sofas and a large chair that filled the space. They were super comfy but the placement was not ideal. We moved them and some other pieces around the room to better advantage. “But you can’t see the tv from the chair over there.” Said the wife. I explained that they did not have to live that way, but that it worked better for the photography. Every smart Realtor® knows that every home sale starts on the internet, and the most important factor for that medium is high quality, attractive photos.

My staging expert and I have lots of experience in knowing what makes for great shots, and sometimes it’s very minor changes. This home has a pool. We cleaned up some “stuff” that had accumulated around the exterior, moved one of the tables from the screened porch to poolside and asked the homeowner to purchase a colorful plastic pitcher and two beverage glasses, with strict instructions not to spend more than $5. I told her “Since there is nothing in your glassware that is suitable, please go to the dollar store and get something that’s blue or green, and make sure it’s something you will use at the new house.” She spent $4 and got just the right thing to make an inviting shot that helped the viewers imagine themselves relaxing by the pool.

The only other expense, was in the master bedroom. The homeowner was waiting to get new bed linens so that they would look great in the new house. This bedroom was gold and the new house was blue. She thought she had to match the walls to the linens when in fact, contrasting colors make for better pictures. I put her in my car and we drove to Bed Bath and Beyond. They had nice things but the ones we liked were too expensive. We found just the right thing at Target and spent only $70 and got shams, comforter, bedskirt and pillows! And, they worked well for the new home as well. On photography day, I stole the fancy square pillows from the guestroom long enough to get the shot and put them back for that photo.

Sweat equity was really what this particular home needed to sell and sell quickly for full asking price. Call me and I will prepare a comparable market analysis for your home, hire the staging expert on my nickel, and together we can decide what we can do to make your to-do list shorter and less expensive so you can find your next dream home now.

For Sale By Owner – Who Needs a Real Estate agent?

If you believe that sticking a sign in the yard and throwing some pictures from your phone on the internet is sufficient to get the job done selling your home, then by all means that’s what you should do. After all, isn’t that what real estate agents do? You are correct of course, that’s what some agents do. If you want the best advantage to sell your home quickly and for top dollar however, think about what a great agent can do for you before you decide to list your home as FSBO.

Pricing

With Zillow and Realtor.com, you can certainly look up what nearby home sales have shown. Importantly however, you can’t see what the net has been because those sites do not take into consideration closing costs and other details that may reduce net proceeds. You also do not have access to the kinds of details an experienced Realtor® has in order to perform a detailed market analysis. Days on the market, current inventory rates, and transaction histories all factor into a professional Comparative Market Analysis.

Yard Signs

In the digital age, not as many buyers are driving around neighborhoods they like to find a house. More often, they sit in their pajamas at 10:30 at night and “like” stuff online. The National Association of Realtors ® reports that only 10% of buyers find their homes via yard signs, and only 1% of buyers find them through newspaper ads.

fsbo sign

Social Media

Will you hire a professional, architectural photographer and professional stager to make sure you grab eyeballs on the internet? Hundreds of Facebook friends can’t hurt, but your cousin in Denver may not be in the market in Mt. Pleasant. dunes properties have a team of people (largely millennials) helping me with social media strategies, and is on top of the latest technology. We are spread across a number of platforms with sophisticated methods for driving business and capturing data. As an agent, I have too many balls in the air to spend hours studying this ever-changing marketplace, and as a homeowner you likely have other priorities as well.

Safety

Do you know how to qualify a buyer before you invite them to your home? Can you take time off from work to meet a stranger from Craigslist? Have you thought about techniques to protect yourself if a situation seems dicey? Are you trained to know how to keep a stranger from casing your home? Agents are trained in situations like these, allowing for easy showings and more free time for you.

Contracts

I’ve worked with real estate agents who have submitted old versions of contracts, neglected to submit the HOA Addendum, and had no idea about the new flood insurance disclosure required at the first of this year.

real estate contracts

As a homeowner, it may be even more difficult to navigate the sea of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction and protect yourself at the same time. The sales agreement alone is eight pages (10 pt type) of legalese. Ask yourself if you are prepared to face the potential legal repercussions if you neglect a mandatory disclosure.

More Money

According to the National Association of Realtors® the average FSBO home sold for $208,700, while the average agent-assisted sale was $235,000 – more than making up a typical commission and then some. Since over 80% of all FSBOs eventually choose to sell their homes with an agent, what not make your life easier? These are only a few reasons to work with a great agent. Call me if you are still not convinced, because I have a few more.

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